How to Get Started as a Model

How to Get Started as a Model

More and more young girls are growing up with dreams of becoming a top model. It’s important to realize that the industry can be an unregulated and unseemly place for minors or young women but at the same time there are practical steps to take should you choose to venture down this path. So, if you would like to know how to get started as a model you’ve come to the right blog.

How to Get Started as a Model:

Digitals (Polaroids)

How to take digital photos and get started as a model
Digital, Brana Dane

The first thing you will need to do is to take some high quality digitals. Digitals are essential to getting started as a model in fashion. The most important aspect of these pictures is their simplicity and their lighting. You should take them in natural, indirect light. Make sure to wear classy, simple clothing that is form fitting to the body. Typically you would wear black jeans and a black tank top with some nice black heels. Keep makeup very light so it looks extremely natural as they are meant to represent what you look like without makeup. Camera angles are important. Play around with tiny alterations to the angles of the camera to see what is the most flattering for each pose. The most commonly required poses are as follows:

  • Full length, facing front
  • Full length, both sides
  • Full length from back
  • Shoulders-up face hair down and up
  • shoulders-up profile both sides with hair back
  • 3/4 length facing front
  • 3/4 length from both sides
  • casual smiling and casual posing

Runway (catwalk)

When you think of fashion models you probably think of the catwalk. It’s great if you can practice your walk a little bit and get comfortable enough to creat a short video for submissions but you at least need to be confident enough to be able to walk on the spot at an agency meeting. The trick to a good walk is to be confident, have excellent posture, let your arms sway as is natural and nail the ending pose. If you truly want to get started as a model you’ll need to get some great heels that feel secure to comfortably strut in.


Instagram is a must to get started in modeling today. All the agencies and many clients ask for your handle on their forms. See my article on how to grow on ig.

Book (Portfolio)

If you’re lucky your booking agent will help you build your book but usually this is left often to the model or their mother agent. It’s important to focus on strong images that have simple makeup and styling so the focus is on you.


Beware of scammers or those who want to make money off of you staying up late partying. It’s important to network with creatives in the industry so you can build up a book. Most of this networking occurs on Instagram nowadays.


You can research where to submit your photos based on your location and what type of modeling you are suited for. If you’re not the standard 5’10 size 2-4 model you may be looking at a more commercial agency or a curve agency. Models 5’8 size 6 are perfect to work in fit if they meet the rest of the requirements. Keep an open mind about what type of modeling you’re going to do.

Open Calls

Once you know which agencies look like the best fit for you you can follow them online and watch for when they are hosting open calls. Sometimes hundreds of women show up for these so don’t be discouraged.

Agency Meetings

Whether you are submitting to a mother agent or a booking agency you’ll need to have your best shots available as well as your digitals and be prepared to show your walk. Standard in the industry is to bring an iPad to go-sees (castings) to display your images. You’ll want to dress and do your makeup as you did for shooting your digitals. It’s great to wear something that looks elevated also such as a brand name bag or jacket. They may take digitals again on the spot as well.

Contracts and Fees

Contracts can be offered exclusively or non-exclusively and have a typical term of 1-3 years. Mother agents do not take anything from your cut of a job, they take 10% of your booking agents client fee. Your booking agent will most likely charge you 20% of your fee as well as an additional 20% fee from the client.

You’re Ready!

I hope this helps those of you who are looking to start your journey into the modeling industry. Please comment below any further questions you may have.


Comments: 2

  1. Joanie says:

    The industry is so competitive it’s very hard to be a model.

  2. Gregory Stewart says:

    Awesome article about the modeling industry and how to become a model. You are truly brilliant!!! And a stunning support model!!!!

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